With Thanksgiving just around the corner, a sweet treat with coconut and Macadamia nuts is interesting and delicious, especially for those who may not find pumpkin pie at the top of their list.
By Kurt Winner
I was delighted to meet Executive Chef Rudi Sodamin on a cruise last month and came home with his cookbook “A Taste Of Celebration” containing his Coconutty Blondies recipe. I enjoyed my short repositioning cruise on the Zaandam from Vancouver B.C to San Diego and because I love to cook, this souvenir cookbook is better than a tee shirt. Chef Rudi and the folks at Holland America Cruise Lines have graciously let me share his recipe with you.
Chef oversees everything food on Holland America, and it’s no small feat. The kitchen crew prepares enormous amounts of food, and quality is number one on everyone’s mind. How about these numbers for weekly preparation: 8500 lbs of meat and meat products, 4000 lbs of poultry, 2000 lbs of fish. You get the idea, it does take a highly trained army of dedicated crew members to make all of this happen for the guests. So with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought a sweet treat made with coconut and Macadamia nuts would be fun, interesting and delicious too, especially for those who may not find pumpkin pie at the top of their list. This recipe comes from the book “A Taste of Celebration” by executive Chef Rudi, and Holland America Line.
- 1¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut divided
- ¾ cup toasted and chopped Macadamia nuts or in a pinch Pecans or hazelnuts will work. See note*
- Pre heat oven to 350f with the rack in the middle position.
- Butter an 8 inch baking pan
- Sift together flour, baking soda and the salt into a mixing bowl.
- In another combine the butter, and the 2 sugars and mix well.
- Next add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the flour on a low speed until it’s just combined.
- Now with a wooden spoon blend in ¾ cup of the coconut and the nuts.
- Spread this mixture into the buttered pan, and finally sprinkle the top with the remaining coconut.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack before cutting it into small bars.
- I really like chocolate with coconut: So if you do too, you can sprinkle some chocolate chips (I use semi sweet) over the dish as soon as it comes out of the oven.
- * I ground ⅓ of the Macadamia nuts in a dedicated coffee grinder. The nuts contain so much oil that you will quickly have a paste. I then chopped the remainder of the nuts with a knife to about ¼-1/8 inch size. If the nuts are salted, cut back on the salt called for in the recipe. This will still give the bars a nice salty sweet taste.
Raised in New York, Kurt enjoyed the homestyle German cooking of his grandmother, who in Germany owned a bakery, and of his Italian stepmothers rustic food. He then moved to live in Hawaii for ten years turning him into a sashimi fanatic. Kurt now calls the Portland Oregon area home. You can find his writing and photography in The Epoch Times, Afar.com and the East County Gazette.